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PRETTY IN PAINT

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Extended Day students enjoy ‘Spring Fling’

By Amy Ryffel-Kragh

Amy Ryffel-Kragh

Staff Writer

Children attending the Extended Day program at Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary School got to take a break from their usual after-school routine and were surprised with an array of fun at the program’s “Spring Fling.”

About 100 students attended the after-school event, which was educational and fun. The students were divided into two groups and rotated to the various tables of activities set-up in the school’s cafeteria.

For example, they got in touch with their creative side while making bookmarks with representatives from Freedom Public Library and made pictures at the Artist Hub table.

The Early Learning Coalition gave each child a book to promote literacy and also had literature for parents as they arrived to pick up their children.

At the face-painting table, Liberty Middle School art teacher, Staci Moore, and her daughter, Maxine, transformed some of the children into animals, while others opted for flowers on their face.

Outside, the children got to jump around in a bounce house, which was sponsored by Bounce With Us. In addition, the crew from the newest Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) firehouse, Liberty Station 32, gave them a closer look at a fire truck and also handed out stickers to the students.

Zelcha Maxwell, site director for the program, said this was the first “spring fling” event and she is hoping to have more in the future.

“They’ve been having fun,” said Amy Gallaher, Extended Day program employee, of the event.

All of the services at the activity day were donated by local businesses and organizations. The Winn Dixie store in Marion Oaks supplied hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks.

Extended Day is an after school program and is offered at all Marion County elementary schools and six middle schools. The Community Technical and Adult Education (CTAE) of Marion County oversees the program and is part of the Marion County Public School System.